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  1. Livesay, Sarah MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, CNS-BC
  2. Ruppert, Susan D. PhD, RN, ANP-BC, NP-C, FCCM, FAANP


As patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) are living longer, health care practitioners increasingly manage the chronic effects of the disease. Although significant strides in management of children with SCA over the past decade resulted in decreased mortality, less research exists to guide the care of the adult with complications from the disease. This case study reviews the care of a young woman with SCA admitted to the hospital for vaso-occlusive crisis with subsequent acute chest syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The pathophysiology and management of SCA, vaso-occlusive crisis, and pulmonary and neurologic complications of the disease are discussed.